The No. 23 Ohio State women’s volleyball team held its annual Scarlet and Gray scrimmage at St. John Arena Saturday, marking the first action for the 2013 freshman class. The Gray team won the scrimmage, 3-1, in four sets.
Coach Geoff Carlston said “the game of volleyball doesn’t care how old you are,” and that he expects the freshmen to be ready to contribute.
“They’ll all be on the court at some point or another,” Carlston said. “It’s just a matter of how quickly they get into the mix and learn.”
Kaitlyn Leary, a senior outside hitter, said she is excited about the group of new players.
“I think it’s a really strong group as a whole,” she said. “All of them have stepped up.”
Leary called freshman middle blocker Taylor Sandbothe’s play in the scrimmage “outstanding,” but Sandbothe has not been the only newcomer to impress.
Both outside hitter Kylie Randall and defensive specialist Valeria León played well in their first organized contest as Buckeyes, according to Leary. She said Randall “stepped up” and León has been developing the serving part of her game well.
Sandbothe said the newcomers tended to be nervous, but the scrimmage was still “a lot of fun.”
“(I) kind of like getting to walk through what game days are usually like,” Sandbothe said. “It’s definitely a lot different than high school or club.”
Beyond the freshmen, Carlston praised the aggressive play of junior outside hitter Erin Sekinger.
“I thought she got after it pretty good,” Carlston said. “I’m really happy to see that because it’s something we’ve been pushing everyone to do.”
He added that Sekinger has made the biggest strides out of any player on the team since last season.
Sekinger recorded 13 kills in three sets for the Scarlet team and added three in one set for the Gray. Leary mirrored those numbers, as the two tied for the match lead with 16 total kills.
Sandbothe played on both squads as Carlston switched the teams after each set. Junior setter Taylor Sherwin led all players with 40 assists.
The Buckeyes are set to open their season Aug. 30 at the NIU Invitational in DeKalb, Ill. They are scheduled to play three games in two days against Liberty, Green Bay and Northern Illinois before returning to Columbus for an exhibition against the Poland National Team Sept. 4.